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Approaching pro life/anti choice protester(46 posts)

Approaching pro life/anti choice protesterkilimanjaro
Jun 10, 2003 2:52 PM
I drove my eldest to preschool about a week ago a few days after my third child was born. We drive past the hospital and this frequent abortion protester accross the street.

He had a large homemade sign (over six feet) mounted on the top of his truck. The side facing the street consisted of two pictures with captions. One picture of a healthy baby with the caption "Let me live", The other picture of a bloody decapitated featus child head held by a forcesnip. I don't recall the caption.

I noticed myself getting angrier and angrier as I drove and couldn't understand it at first since I have seen the protester many times before, never causing such a strong reaction.

Then I realized the reason. My five year old could have seen the "aborted" picture. Fortunately he was engrossed in a book in the back as is his habbit. I thought of young children, and teenagers visiting the hospital and being confronted with such a grotesque image.

I have seen this protester with signs that said something along the lines of 11 muslims murdered 3000 Americans. There was also as post 2001 denounciation of the Clintons. It is clear that his views are at one extreme of our society.

In any event, after my anger subsided somewhat I really wanted to approach the protester and either ask him or if he belonged to a church ask his congregation politely to not show such graphic pictures in public.

I don't want to argue about the morality of abortion and support his right to protest, but I consider the images he presents X-rated. I view it no different than displaying explicit sexual or violent images in public. Failing that I would attempt to contact the local authorities. If my city has any anti-obscenity laws I cannot imagine a better case for its application.
probably legal right to display imageDougSloan
Jun 10, 2003 3:00 PM
I'd say he can continue to protest with the sign, and it's not obscene. Part of his message is that what's happening to babies is grotesque, and he'll say he needs to show the images to make the point. It may be ugly, but legal.

That's not to say he might not be convinced by a reasonable request to spare your children seeing the image. On the other hand, that may be exactly what he wants to do -- cause people to really be upset by it, starting with children.

He's probably 100% legal.

An angle you might consider is the privacy rights of the unborn babies he's displaying. He may possibly not have the rights to display those specific images -- more of a privacy or intellectual property issue than obscenity or first amendment. It's a stretch, though.

Doug
But aren't these types of protests a violation of MY rights?Kristin
Jun 10, 2003 3:27 PM
I've seen these protests and felt that I was FORCED to view the images. Images that can be psychologically traumatic to children and adults. If I would have had the chance, I would have chosen to avoid them; but I wasn't given the choice. (Interesting, they are protesting choice, are they not?) I have a friend who had an abortion and when she encountered one of these protests and saw the image it hit her like a kidney punch. She broke down and cried for 2 days. She was working on healing, and it was damaging for her to have that image forced upon her. Doesn't she have any rights. Can someone just walk up to her on the street and force her to look at images that will torment and traumatiz her soul needlessly?

Its one thing if they want to display some kind of one-liner slogan that is designed to draw people in and then give people the opportunity to to view or not view the images. But to put it out there so people MUST look at it HAS to be wrong. It just has to.

Also, what if I applied your concept of right to protest to a protest of prostitution and I displayed images of prostitutes at work. Would this be legal?
No one forces someone to look. So Don't. These issues of ...Live Steam
Jun 10, 2003 8:15 PM
whose rights carry more weight are difficult. I don't like seeing someone burning an American flag, but the Supreme Court says they have a right to do so. I understand your feelings and sympathize with your friend, but understanding and agreeing are not the same. I have to say the guy has the right to display the images. Maybe there is a local ordinance for right to assemble or some other blue law that can trump his First Amendment privilege.
Sorry for your friend,Dwayne Barry
Jun 11, 2003 4:57 AM
but since when has there been a right to not be offended?
I'm talking about trauma, not offensivenessKristin
Jun 11, 2003 5:30 AM
Burning the American Flag, or blocking traffic on Lake Shore Drive and making me late for work are offensive. I agree that both of those protests have a right to occur. Even anti-abortion protests are allowed. I'm not debating the right to protest or to offend. I'm talking about trauma here. These images can and do further emotional damage to women who have had abortions and for children. They stopped showing the towers coming down on television broadcasts because its a proven fact that seeing images like that can emotionally damage a child. This can do the same. So please reply to me and tell me how this person has a right to display images that psychology can proove to be damaging to a person?
Kristin he is displaying them because he believes ...Live Steam
Jun 11, 2003 6:02 AM
that act of aborting a child is heinous and the only way he can get that point across is to so exactly what it looks like. To many people it is just a word and not a reality. The picture depict the reality of the brutality of the act. I am sure he believes that the graphic depiction of what a fetus looks like after being aborted, is a powerful on. Obviously it has had an effect. I am sure he believes that showing in plain reality what actually happens may dissuade some from doing it.

Don't get mad at me. I didn't do it. I am just pointing out his reasoning behind it. For a long time it was portrayed as some sterile procedure akin to getting a tooth removed. It obviously isn't.

Heck I don't buy the crap about children viewing this and having emotional problems as a result. Many parents allow their children to see worse on TV and in the movies. They also allow them to play video games that are almost as violent and gory.

As for the flag burning, I would suspect that there are veterans that may get just as emotionally upset as you friend did, when seeing a flag burning. Many lost limbs, friends and possibly their sanity, trying to protect it. Maybe your friend would not have aborted her child had she viewed the images of the aborted fetus prior. Maybe she would have seen that image and understood how violent and offensive it really is.
I hear you, and I'm not angryKristin
Jun 11, 2003 6:23 AM
My great, great, great, something grandfather was Oliver Wolcott. My heritage has given me a deep sense of belonging to America and I have studied his life and the life of the Griswolds who lead Connecticut for many years. One of Olivers greatest strengths was that he was not pig headed. When an opposing argument presented itself as more correct than his personal belief, he would allow himself to be swayed. I decided long ago that if I could inherit just one trait from this ancestor, that would be the one I wanted.

I see the validity of your argument. It was nagging me from the back of my own mind as well. Lots of things can traumatize lots of people and the government couldn't possible protect all of them in all of those circumstances. I hate that people display these images. Its thoughtless and makes me angry. But you're point is more valid than mine.
Children viewing adult imageskilimanjaro
Jun 11, 2003 3:23 PM
LiveSteam wrote.

"Heck I don't buy the crap about children viewing this and having emotional problems as a result. Many parents allow their children to see worse on TV and in the movies. They also allow them to play video games that are almost as violent and gory."

This parent, who started this thread, limits what his children views on TV. In fact this family no longer receives broadcast signals partially for this reason. Not to overstate the contradictions of your quote with previous posts in other threads. You are a conservative. I am sure you appreciate the concept of parental control. I take it you have no problems of young children receiving sex education with graphic pictures. How about showing kids some graphic images of executed murderers and their victims in order to debate the merits of death penalty.
I understand and sympathize your predicament ...Live Steam
Jun 12, 2003 5:44 AM
I don't have children yet, so I am not sure how I would react to this situation. I also appreciate your concern about what your children watch on TV. I agree wholeheartedly. I think there is too much gratuitous sex and violence on TV. I think it should be curbed some way, but the liberals will be screaming holy hell about freedom of expression and limiting artistic license or what ever. The same goes for the sex ed in schools. It wasn't that graphic when I was in school (much to my chagrin :O), and we all seemed to figure it out pretty well :O) However here I think you are fighting the wrong fight IMO of course. A few issues arise - the first being this guys first amendment right to protest, the next being the fact that the images are not censored by law. The images may be offensive or foul to you and others, but not to some. You have a few limited options - you can take a different route to school that may prevent a view of the offensive sign, you can write your local representatives and have them change laws that will prevent him from displaying or assembling, or you can keep your child engaged in some activity in the car as he was the day this first occurred.

My rant about parents allowing children to view all sorts of "crap" on TV, in the movies and in video games, was just that, a rant. I can't believe what many parents these days let their kids see, do and listen too. It may be because most of the parents are either still very young and haven't even become mature themselves. These issues don't even occur to them. The other reason may be that if they have multiple children, like my sister does, I guess you get sort of worn down by trying to shelter them from the inundation of all of this crap. We have discussed this on numerous occasions. Lastly if your children play with other kids in their homes, you can be sure that somewhere along the way they will be exposed to it any way. It has to be a tough battle to shelter your children from the world and all of it's ugliness. I have to say I am looking forward to it with trepidation. I may be a conservative, but I am also a realist :O)
How to eliminate unwanted programming. Guaranteedmoneyman
Jun 12, 2003 6:56 AM
Push the red button.

$$
Traumamoneyman
Jun 11, 2003 7:39 AM
How do you think it felt for the baby, sorry, fetus, that was aborted? That was probably pretty traumatic to have your body ripped apart and sucked into a vacuum.

The World Trade Center burned down and killed 3,000 people. Not seeing it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Not seeing the remains of aborted babies, errr, fetuses, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Sorry for your friend. Really. She made several choices that are going to have lifelong traumatic effects on her psyche and her body. Its hard to face the consequences of our actions, and I am sure she was upset because she was forced to face the truth about her choices.

$$
That was one of the most insensitve posts I've read in a long time.Kristin
Jun 11, 2003 8:01 AM
I've noticed that you've been extremely insensitive in general as of late. Bummer, it doesn't indear you.
Sorry, Kristinmoneyman
Jun 11, 2003 8:46 AM
That the truth offends you. I should tiptoe around the truth so that you aren't upset by it?

Just call it as I see it, Kristin. Doesn't mean you have to agree. And if it doesn't "indear" me (to you, I assume), so be it.

$$
hey man...sctri
Jun 11, 2003 11:55 AM
I am not sure, but I doubt that you know kristin, or her friend, so its not fair to to tell her what the "truth" is about her situation.

Abortion is a tough issue, and I have my personal feelings about it, but that isnt this discussion.

My point is, its easy to denouce someones choice when you know nothing about their situation, life, or way which they became pregnat in the first place.

RC
See its that patronizing bullsh!t that angers meKristin
Jun 11, 2003 12:14 PM
Nothing about your post indicates that you are sorry. You use that word in the most insincere manner possible and doing so gives your post an air of superiority and one-up-ism. You don't call it like you see it. You speak down to people. Its rude and inaccurate and I don't like it.
Tell me what's inaccuratemoneyman
Jun 11, 2003 1:24 PM
Really.

$$
Kristin, pardon my chiming in, but...94Nole
Jun 19, 2003 4:32 AM
I think your friend's reaction is proof that mankind's (womankind's) inate struggle with right vs. wrong is real. Abortion is not morally right. Abortion is not part of the grand plan, for without some sort of intervention (medical or self-inflicted), it doesn't occur. I guess one could argue that the natural course is miscarriage.

Sorry to continue to offend but so is it with same-sex marriage. This practice would put mankind one generation from extinction. It is not in the natural order of things. We can use medical intervention, as in abortion, to determine the outcome we want. But left alone, it'll never happen.

I know, one could make that argument about any medical procedure that saves a life. But that's the point, the elimination of the practice of abortion saves a life.
By your argument we should stop treating illness as wellKristin
Jun 19, 2003 5:47 AM
If your argument is that it is "immoral" to interfere with a pregnancy on the grounds that it is wrong to interfere with the natural course of things, then by that argument it would also be immoral to use medical science to try to save an unborn child...or to cure cancer for that matter.

I'm not saying that I disagree that abortion is immoral. But your argument for "why" it is immoral is extremely weak. Also, morality is a personal matter and not something that can be imposed on others. You can create consequences for certain actions by creating rules and laws about behavior; but a persons morality comes from their heart and experience. You may try to pursuade someone to agree with you about an action you think is immoral, but you can not "tell" them what to believe about it. Well, you can, but typically that will only offend the other person. In this case, your argument doesn't pursuade.
Perhaps you failed to read to the end of my post.94Nole
Jun 19, 2003 6:05 AM
Your topic line would imply that. And granted, I am probably not that strong of a casemaker as perhaps others.

However, I disagree as to your assessment of the origin of morality. I do not believe that morality (right v. wrong, good v. evil) is personal and was there from the beginning. It was/is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I believe that it is our experience(s) that have changed our hearts that has ultimately changed our personal moralities or definition thereof. Morality hasn't changed.

Some men and women want choice. But it is really about fixing a prior mistake. They chose the mistake. Now they chose to reverse that mistake. How many choices do they get? Should consequences of our choices ever come into the equation?

Take Michigan. The citizens riot because a motorcyclist is killed when he chooses to not stop for law enforcement and hits a building. The people are mad at the police officers who were chasing him with total disregard as to why he didn't stop. Right and wrong has never changed. The
I read your entire postKristin
Jun 19, 2003 7:17 AM
But the thrust of your debate was that abortion is immoral because it changes the natural course of things. I simply poked around at the agrument to show its weakness. Man changes the course of things all the time. Based on that debate, you would have to claim that its wrong all the time and in every case. Unless that was not what you meant to debate.

What I think you were trying to say is that abortion is immoral because there is a power who is greater than us who has already determined that its wrong and that we are subject to his rules. If you want to try to pursuade me of that, great. Your debate would have much more merit on those grounds. I've already contemplated the abortion issue thoroughly and am very confident in my positions--which I have not expressed here.

And I was not, by my posts in this thread, stating that abortion protests are wrong. Which some people have seemed to imply. I just think that people should be more sensitive to others. These "types" of protests are cruel and insensitive. If you ever saw you at one I would have very little respect for you.

Regarding this riot. It started because a rumor (true or untrue) spread that the white police officers ran over the motorcyclists on purpose, killing him. Its about race, not about disregard for the law. The demographic in Benton Harbor made it ripe for riot.
Re: probably legal right to display imagekilimanjaro
Jun 10, 2003 3:49 PM
I am not a lawyer, so I am probably wrong on this. However, your reasoning seems inconsistent with obscenity laws as I understand them. Does this mean that I can protest war by displaying a picture of decapitated corpse on the street corner. What if he puts up a picture of an "actress" with likeness of Monica Lewenski performing oral sex on an "actor" with the likeness of Bill Clinton as protest. Are there any images I cannot put up on a street corner barring privacy concerns?

I thought that privacy only deals with phone reoordings and not photographs. Hence you can videotape your neighbor through an open window from your front yard but you cannot record the audio of the event. Besides, I thought that current law does not afford child featus the legal status of human beings, hence it would follow privacy laws cannot be applied.

I have not seen the protester since but I have a strong suspicion that I will be unable to convince him.
not obscenityDougSloan
Jun 10, 2003 4:16 PM
The term of legal significance is "obscenity", which, after struggling for many years and through many cases, the U.S. Supreme Court defined in Miller v. California in 1973. It is a three-part test, as follows:

"The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be:
(a) whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, Kois v. Wisconsin, supra, at 230, quoting Roth v. United States, supra, at 489;
(b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and
(c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Note that part (a) does employ community standards. However, all three parts must be met for a work to be deemed obscene, and part (c), as the Court has held elsewhere, is a national threshold, not a community test.

http://censorware.net/essays/obscene_jt.html

Therefore, there must be sexual content. The baby is not obscene, by legal definition.

No, you don't have to see it; but even if unavoidable, and he otherwise has a right to be at the place he is protesting, it's sort of tough luck. You can't shut him up or take away his photo.

In your friend's situation, I think the protester accomplished exactly what he wanted to. That's what speech is all about.

What sucks, to some people, is that the Constitution protects good, bad, hateful, disgusting, beautiful, artistic -- ALL speech, with very few exceptions. This may be an extreme example, and one you don't like, but it's legal.

If it were early WWII and the protester was displaying images of gasses Jews to encourage the US to go to war against Nazi Germany, how would you feel?

Doug
Re: obscenitykilimanjaro
Jun 10, 2003 4:45 PM
Interesting that it only applies to sexual and not violent content. I disagree with it but the law is what it is.

Good point about images of gassed Jews in WWII. I would still do not want those pictures displayed on the street corner. I was also thinking about images of starving children in Africa; while not "violent" still disturbing.

I have never seen very graphic violent pictures on the street except for this protester. I simply assumed that there was some civil code against it.
"Disturbing"moneyman
Jun 11, 2003 7:49 AM
Sometimes we need to be disturbed.

$$
Okay, but lets leave obscenity out of itKristin
Jun 10, 2003 5:10 PM
I'm assuming the part about "your friend" was a reference to my post and not Kilimanjaro's--since he didn't write about a friend and I did. In any regard. Does someone have the right to force images upon me? I really wish there were some measure in the law to give me the ability to CHOOSE what images I view and what images I don't. Personally for me, it feels like a violation of my privacy when someone pushes stuff like this on me without my having a say in it. I believe it is a violation of my privacy. If the law doesn't see it that way, then I believe the law is flawed in this matter.
not a privacy issueDougSloan
Jun 10, 2003 8:03 PM
Privacy is your right to keep your secrets to yourself. It isn't a right not to be exposed to something in public.

What if everyone had the right to restrict what others could display in public? The least common denominator would control, which might well be nothing at all. I don't like cigarette ads -- they're gone. Someone else doesn't like bikini ads, liquor ads, neon lights...

At some point, you can't "spread a blanket of sensitivity" over others, as the law sometimes puts it. Part of living in a free society is tolerating some things we don't like.

Doug
But, tabacco ads are now regulated and restrictedKristin
Jun 11, 2003 5:41 AM
Tabacco ads could not be removed all together, nor should they be. Phillip Morris has a right to advertise. But those against tabacco ads did get some concessions because tabacco was proven to be a harmful substance, and therefore advertising needed to be controlled to limit childrens' exposure to it. Didn't that entire legal venture result in a law against smoking on network television, and isn't it still in effect? When the issue of displaying something that CAN DO HARM, don't the courts have the ability to regulate it? Not stop it perse, but to control when and where?

Lets take another issue. What if the same man stood on the corner protesting--with images--rapists who get parole. What if he showed images of a woman being attacked, but that lacked explicit sexual content. Its quite easy to prove that images like this could further traumatize a rape victim. Does he have the right to subject those women to further trauma??
But, tabacco ads are now regulated and restrictedpurplepaul
Jun 11, 2003 9:49 AM
I think there would have to be a direct causal link established before any court would consider limiting the protestor's speech.

There used to be some really angry womyn standing on the street yelling at men and forcing pictures of pornography in their faces. Their point was pornography degrades women. I just liked looking at the naked bodies.

Also, as a freshman in high school (a Catholic school, I might add), I took a pamphlet from an anti-abortion protestor that had pictures of aborted fetuses and a little story from the perspective of the fetus. It started out with something like, "Day One: Mommy and Daddy created me. I am so happy to exist." and ended with "Day Forty: Mommy killed me." It had an effect on me, being 14 an all. But, mostly, I found the pictures fascinating. I looked at them enough times so that seeing them doesn't evoke the response that protestors wish they would. Granted, I'm not a woman, I've never needed an abortion and I've never, ever been tempted to think that a fetus is more important than the woman who carries it. Seeing children suffering from unloving parents or poverty has always saddened me way more than seeing dead flesh.

My point is that sometimes letting the protestors do their thing weakens their position.
I would say yes.94Nole
Jun 19, 2003 4:43 AM
One may choose the route she/he drives. Kilimanjaro said he drives by a hospital where this fellow is frequently found.

Choose to take an alternate route. I am the parent of two boys and would not like for them to see this and as their parent, I do not feel the compulsion to make him move. I will find an alternative route or school if that's what it takes.

Making someone else change is not a choice.
Worse than displaying hardcore pornographyfiltersweep
Jun 11, 2003 10:04 AM
At least most of us participate in some or all of the "acts" depicted in pornography from time to time...

I think there could be an argument that this is a form of controlled speech. Since it relates to abortion, I'm sure the conservative courts would use a double-standard and allow it as free speech (but would bar a comparable graphically pornographic sign).
Those protesters are foolish and I want to punch them outKristin
Jun 10, 2003 3:11 PM
I'm sorry to hear that someone is doing this. I've seen these protests before, but I think pursuing it will likely be fruitless. You won't change them, because they think they are doing what's right and they will likely label you evil and immoral. That will only result in making your more frustrated. I feel your anger. I feel it myself when I see these mindless protests. But sometimes its better just to let a fool sit in his own vomit. Hopefully some of them will wake up from their stupor and do something useful, but until then...

If you did pursue it, doing it through local legal means is the best way. Don't try to confront the guy. Perhaps just drive a different way to the hospital so your little boy doesn't get exposed to it.
Changin people's mindkilimanjaro
Jun 10, 2003 4:09 PM
Even tough I suspect your are right, I feel compelled to speak to the protester should I encounter him again. Hopefully, by making it clear that I fully support his right to protest I can get him to rethink his decision. He has a lot of crosses displayed on his truck, so he must attend church or at least a Bible study group. There should be somone in his respected circle with young children. Hopefully the person can see my concerns. I know this is wistful thinking...
counter protestDougSloan
Jun 10, 2003 4:18 PM
Make your own sign and protest next to him that says "<--This is hateful and disgusting."
done the counter protestsctri
Jun 11, 2003 12:03 PM
It can work to some degree.
There was a major issue about this (and there still are lawsuits going on..) on a university campus. A group wanted to display some of the most offensive stuff I could imagine (was a group called the Genocide awareness project)
and the options were very limited as to what a counter protest could entail.

Essentially, a group of people who didnt think that everyone should HAVE to see that, made a line about 10 feet in front of them with canvas banners with just the small word "choice" on them, and allowed people to walk along a coridor with us between them and the GAP display.

As I stood there, I legitimatally wondered if I was doing the right thing, as I am a strong advocate for free speach, but the look in two differnt womens eyes, when she walked along our line and thank me, was more than suffice to convince me.

RC
only the speech issueDougSloan
Jun 11, 2003 12:54 PM
Note that I'm only advocating the right to protest or counter-protest, not the underlying substantive arguments here. No matter how wrong someone is one way or the other, in my view, I'll still support their right to say or show it.

Also, counter-protesting does not mean interfering with the rights of others' speech and protesting. There is a difference.

Doug
Same (nm)sctri
Jun 12, 2003 6:55 PM
I suspect he intends to disgust and upset people.czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 4:30 PM
I also suspect that if you pointed out that his sign could traumatize young children, he will inform you that abortion is trauma to young children that you should be worried about.
Re: I suspect he intends to disgust and upset people.kilimanjaro
Jun 10, 2003 4:49 PM
"I also suspect that if you pointed out that his sign could traumatize young children, he will inform you that abortion is trauma to young children that you should be worried about"

True, but could I not worry about both? I never mentioned in my posts my personal position on abortion.

Question. If I am for abortion/pro choice would it be unethical for me to lie and say I am pro life in order to influence him.
funnyDougSloan
Jun 10, 2003 4:55 PM
Ethical to lie? Ends justify means?

If you ascribe to ethical/moral hierachy, and feel the greater good is acheived by violating a lesser rule, then fine. I'd first try to come up with something else, though.

Remember that some whackos feel that offing abortion doctors is "moral" because they are acheiving a greater good.

"Act as though the principals of your actions could be applied as universal principals." (something like that) Kant's version of the Golden Rule -- categorical imperative.

Doug
Heck, I am pro-choice <i>and</i> anti-abortion.czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 5:05 PM
(Who is pro-abortion?) As such, anyone could walk up to the guy and some find common ground on the issue

Concern for both is a perfect valid, reasonable point. But you are talking about a guy displaying a giant picture of a dismembered fetus.
You can be both pro-choice and pro-life. nmKristin
Jun 10, 2003 5:14 PM
Get a bigger sign and stand in front of his. . .czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 3:34 PM
. . . such that he can't turn the tables without being cited for either jaywalking or trespass.
re: Counter protestingkilimanjaro
Jun 10, 2003 5:01 PM
That is very hard to do in practice. I have to be there when he is there. I don't drive my kids to school everyday, He is not there most of the days when I do drive that route. I would not want to counter protest with my kids in the car. It would completely defeat my purpose.

In any event we would only be shouting at each other with signs and pictures. I am interested in changing peoples minds and not shouting them down. Shouting only causes people to be defensive and entrench in their positions. This is what disturbance oriented protesters accross the social/political spectrum do not understand.
If the issue is his method rather than his message. . .czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 5:11 PM
. . .maybe you could tell him exactly what you just posted here. Tell him that he is reprsenting his message poorly, and likely driving people away from it.
re: Counter protestingpurplepaul
Jun 10, 2003 10:12 PM
Although I strongly suspect you are correct in thinking that your words will not have the desired effect on this protestor, you might be positively surprised. However, I would not take the chance. My experience with abortion protestors (I once happened to be staying in a hotel in D.C. during an anti-abortion rally; unfortunately, so were all the protestors), those who aren't just against it but feel driven to change people's minds, is that they aren't rational. And they actually seem to enjoy unpleasant confrontations.

I wholeheartedly agree that those pictures could be traumatic to a child. With all the crying they do about "protecting the children" you might have some success talking with the guy's parish, assuming he belongs to one. That, I'm sure, he'd be happy to talk with you about if you seem like you're on his side.

If you're pro-choice, I would NOT say that to him or anyone else involved as I suspect all you'd get is an unwanted lecture. If you frame it as appreciation for what they're trying to do, but in reality they're hurting children, they might be able to talk the guy into moving his protest elsewhere.

But probably not.

Couldn't you just take a different route?